How Did the U.S. Become a Prison State? And How Do We Get Out?

Political Scientist
Over a year ago

You already know the statistics: The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country, both in sheer numbers and as a percentage of the population. But do you know why?

University of Pennsylvania professor Marie Gottschalk is an expert on the politics of incarceration and author of the book Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics. In this video interview, professor Gottschalk details the sequence of events that led to the American prison state. From overstated crime statistics to race-based political dealings to the political benefit of looking tough, the saga of the U.S. as warden continues to reap heavy consequences for nearly all parts of society.